Volunteer Spotlight: Selma Kossol

The heart of any co-op is its member-owners and that is certainly true of the Fredericksburg Food Co-op. This regular Volunteer Spotlight feature will tell you more about member-owners who generously volunteer time and talent to help us on our path toward opening a locally-owned grocery store focused on healthy, responsibly-sourced food and a sustainable community for all. Can you help? Contact us about volunteering!

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Hello Fellow Co-operators! I’m Selma Kossol, a native Virginian, born in Roanoke, lived in Harrisonburg (both Co-op towns!), and Lynchburg. I came to Fredericksburg in 1980 to attend Mary Washington College where I majored in biology with a minor in chemistry. Shortly after graduation I worked for Bristol Myers. My husband, Bill, is a local, independent optometrist. We have 3 children and 2 grandchildren.

How did you hear about the Fredericksburg Food Co-op and why did you become a member?

I was always fascinated by the biology and physiology of the human body. Over the past 20 years I have researched the healing power of food in it’s most natural state to the point where I truly believe it is, and always will be, my first choice in medicine. I have studied the history of food, from Biblical to current times, and I am saddened by the effects of the Agricultural and Industrial Revolutions, Monsanto’s emergence into the food industry in the early 90’s, and the Big Food and Pharma Industries, has had on our health and environment. I was THRILLED when my husband Bill brought a contact card for the Fredericksburg Food Co-op home from work about 3 years ago. (It was from a Board Member…do you know who you are?) Unfortunately, life was happening and I did let a little time go by before becoming a member almost two years ago.

What volunteer work do you do with the Co-op and what do you like most about volunteering?

But here I am now, volunteering for the common goal with some of the over 1300 truly amazing, committed, like-minded individuals I have the honor of even being in the same room with. I am involved with the Reusable Bag Project, the Annual Meeting Team, the Pot Luck Cooking Class events, the Member Loan Appreciation Team, and most recently, I became a member of the Events and Volunteers Committee.

What are you most looking forward to about the Co-op?

Besides the obvious pending opening of our grocery store this year, I am looking forward to continuing to be active with the Co-op every chance I get, even after the store opens. I look forward to enjoying the many benefits of being a member. I also look forward to buying food that is not all wrapped up in plastic.

What’s your favorite thing about the Fredericksburg food scene?

One of my favorite things about the Fredericksburg food scene is that I have witnessed farm to table restaurants grow from just a handful to scores of choices since 1980. Back then, Sammy T’s was a favorite and it still is! I just went recently and the new menu is fabulous.

What advice do you have for someone considering becoming a Co-op member?

My advice to anyone who is considering becoming a food co-op member? Let me just say that I joined because I want to be IN CONTROL of what I eat and where my dollars go to gain access to clean, healthy, affordable, local food. I joined because I want to better my community and local economy by keeping my dollars local instead of supporting corporate giants or even sending them overseas. If you want a voice in these things, if you want to OWN that, then become a member-owner! But if for some reason you cannot, you are still welcome to shop at our store and be a part of this wonderful community anyway! How cool is that?!

Published February 1, 2020